October 21, 2021

The Neews: Gross Food Safety Stories in the News

Too often food safety news is tragic, but sometimes it’s just plain gross. These are the “Neews” stories, the ones that, put the eew in news.

Deer MouseStandard fare in this category are stories about prisoners making hootch in their toilets and stories where the concept of edible roadkill has been explored. But some stories set themselves apart. And we’ve decided to share them with you each month.

To give you an idea of what you can expect in a Neews story, the headliners from 2011 would have been  1.- the revelation- on these very pages, that cherry or vanilla flavoring is derived from the anal glands of beavers and 2. that the mysterious Campylobacter outbreak among Wyoming shepherds was solved when authorities discovered the men were using their teeth, rather than surgical instruments, to castrate young lambs.

In 2012, the hands-down winner was one we like to call “MountainDew 1, Rodent 0” in which a man who claimed to have found a dead mouse in his can of Mountain Dew in 2009 filed suit against PepsiCo. To its credit, PepsiCo was not deterred from mounting a defense that removed the urban from urban legend saying a veterinary pathologist had determined that a mouse suspended in a can of Mountain Dew for that length of time would have been rendered to a “jelly-like” substance.

Distant seconds that year were 1., Actress Alicia Silverstone pre-chewing food and spitting it into her baby’s mouth and 2., a McDonalds employee in SC arrested after hocking a loogie into a customer’s sweet tea, and 3., a study from the Water Quality & Health Council that found one fifth of people over 18 say they pee while swimming in pools. So, please shower that pollen off your skin before jumping into the community,hotel or resort pool where you can frolic guilt-free in someone else’s urine.  And stay tuned for the next installment of the Neews.


  1. Good grief, those stories are enough to gag a maggot. Can’t wait for the next enstallment. Won’t read it near mealtime, tho’.

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